4 simple actions every customer-focused company should be adopting
Customer satisfaction has fallen in the UK on two consecutive periods to 77.9% from a peak in July 2017 when it reached 78.2%.
This demonstrates the difficulty businesses face when trying to meet the needs of a very discerning customer who has an abundance of choice. That coupled with the demands of a broad demographic is a massive challenge when, at one end you have digital natives ever savvy online and needing information on demand and then also an aging population whose needs are very different.
77.9% is a worrying statistic. An engaged team is paramount to take us forward into 2020 when customer service is the key differentiator over price for business success.
We are living in an age where 80% of companies believe they offer a superior customer experience but only 8% of customers of these same companies agree. On top of this, digital marketing is reaching potential customers a business could have only dreamt about just a very few years back, and an ever discerning customer with the world at his or her fingertips – quite literally – is following. With exposure comes accountability.
You cannot avoid the exposure that new media brings but you can manage the expectations. One of the most important factors in managing the expectations is – surprise, surprise – aiming to achieve continually fantastic customer service. And this begins with your employees. You need to engage for success. You should be aiming to offer all members of the organisation the conditions to feel empowered, motivated and engaged in order to give their best and to contribute to your company’s success.
Below are some tips providing simple actions I believe every truly customer-focused company should be adopting.
- Engage your employees. This starts at the top of the company and ensuring the aspiration for customer service excellence should be the central leadership objective. Employee engagement is key and is about both employee satisfaction (happiness!) and employee motivation (engagement!). Looking after your employees – no, I mean really looking after them – should be priority. Trust, well-being, and mutual respect are the foundations of building the conditions for engaged employees.
- Adopt an internal communication strategy involving all team members so they are fully conversant with the company plans and vision ongoing – how can they feel that they truly belong to a company unless they know what is going on in terms of the goals and purposes the company wishes to fulfill?
- Regularly give effective feedback. Far too often, we forget to say ‘well done’ or ‘great work today’. In fact, 65% of employees feel like they don’t receive enough praise and 35% of employees have to wait more than three months to get feedback from their manager. These statistics need to change – it is human nature to want to succeed and also to be told that you are doing a brilliant job. Meaningful rewards and recognition for team members are a great way to build relationships and make people feel valued.
- Training should not stop after the initial induction. A programme of continuous training enables team members to progress, makes them feel valued, improves self-esteem, increases confidence, develops their skills and all round knowledge… do you need anymore reasons?
Here is a great study report on staff engagement which is well worth a read.
So, engage and empower your employees if your aim is to focus on creating a fantastic customer experience. Great leadership means happy and engaged employees which means happy customers – in that order.
Employee engagement can be nurtured and you can put the actions in place right now to achieve your customer service goals. If you don’t, pretty sure your competitors will! Use insight and measurement to feedback regularly, act on it, continue the monitoring and share the successes with the team and with your customers. Sometimes, simple actions are all that is required.
Make a plan and make a start!
Anglia Rural Consultants provide expert, practical advice and support for farming and rural businesses. If you would like to explore how we could help you, do get in touch.
Contact: Richard Rampton, Chairman ARC
Phone: 01508 470 347